Course Duration: 09.30 - 16.30
Group size: 10 Maximum
Age Range: 18+
During the day we will get you hands on dirt time learning how to identify the track and sign of UK wildlife. From foot placement, to gait patterns and more we will fill the day completely with practical track and sign analysis.
We will also impart some basic awareness techniques to improve your tracking ability, utilising the senses of sound to interpret bird behaviour, and visual clues to movement.
After an initial welcome we will get you to zone into the rhythm of the woodland using some well-established awareness exercises.
We will then spend a bit of time first looking at animal gait patterns, individual animal footprints and how to identify them and then action indicators before going out and putting it into practice and exploring ways to improve your tracking opportunities such as utilising track traps, angles and lighting.
After lunch we will partake in another awareness exercise before more hands-on practical tracking during the afternoon we will also select suitable tracks and go through the process of taking permanent records of the tracks using either drawing, plaster casts.... or both! We will obviously also include other animal sign apart from footprints such as scat, feeding sign, etc.
We operate from a basic woodland venue with rustic furniture around the camp so do feel free to bring additional items for your comfort throughout the day and download our recommended kit list for additional advice. There will be hot and cold water for drinks and a base camp style toilet for your comfort. This is a non-catered course so you will need to bring along a packed lunch and snacks. It is unlikely we will light a fire during this course due to the possible impingement on the behaviour of the surrounding wildlife however it will be at the instructors discretion.
The course adapts to the changing seasons, with the weather, and some other factors. Our staff will meet you in the car park and once we've got everyone together, we'll get the day started.
We will first look at some books which are useful to have at home to help identify any sign you're unsure of. These aren't always practical to carry out in the field, so we'll also show you some guides that we recommend.
Armed with these guides, and with your kit on your back, we'll set off looking for sign. This can take us all around the site, whether it's on the river bank or in the woods, we'll explore the area to reveal a wide range of indicators of activity.
We will spend the morning on a walk around the site, stopping to take a close look at any prints, tracks, scat, feeding sign or any other evidence of activity. Your highly experienced instructor will guide you through what they see and encourage you to dissect the information you have to build a picture of the event that provided this evidence.
We will find somewhere suitable for a lunch break, whether this is in our expedition style camp or in a scenic area of the woods. This is a non-catered course so you will need to bring a packed lunch.
During the afternoon, we will continue a walk round the site. there will be opportunities to sketch the sign that you see, or we may even be able to do a plaster cast. This is a great way of building a permanent image of that information that we could then take back to the books to confirm an ID.
We have a selection of items that we can show you that you may find while out and about on walks or other adventures, to give you an idea of what amazing information can be recovered. While this is an introductory course, we will be providing a lot of information, even about sign you will already be able to recognise.
The world of tracking is simply vast, and we hope that this inspires you to explore this amazing topic further. It truly is staggering how much we miss in our day to day lives.
The day will draw to a close with you back to your vehicles for 16:30